In a memo to the Bureau of Prisons, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told it to start reducing "and ultimately ending" the Justice Department's use of private prisons. The announcement follows a Justice Department audit that found that the private facilities have more safety and security problems than government-run ones. The Obama administration says the declining federal prison population justifies the decision to eventually close privately run prisons. The policy change does not cover private prisons used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which hold up to 34,000 immigrants awaiting deportation. The private prisons on the chopping block are operated by three companies - Corrections Corp. of America, GEO Group and Management and Training Corp.